Finland has chosen change: Prime Minister Sanna Marin has lost to the conservatives and the far right

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As polls have pointed out, Finland opted for change in parliamentary elections held this Sunday and he elevated the two main opposition partiesthe conservative Kokoomus and the far right True Finns.

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At the end of the ballot, the conservative formation led by Petteri Orpo, so far the third political force in the Nordic country, obtained the 20.8% of the votes and 48 of 200 seats in the Eduskunta (Parliament), ten more than in the previous election.

A significant step forward that repositions the Conservatives as the largest party in Finland after twelve years and that will allow Orpo to lead the negotiations to form the next coalition executive that will have to replace the one led so far by the prime minister, Social Democrat Sanna Marin.

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Meanwhile, the very right-wing Finns, led by opposition leader Riikka Purra, it obtained 20.1% of the vote and 46 seatss, seven more than in the last election, after having increased his popular support by 2.6%.

“The Finnish people want change and now I will open negotiations with all parties to form a government,” a jubilant Orpo told the press before even finishing the count.

Sanna Marin, Petteri Orpo and Riikka Purra.  Photo Bloomberg

Sanna Marin, Petteri Orpo and Riikka Purra. Photo Bloomberg

Insufficient SDP progress

Marin’s Social Democratic Party (SDP) finally he had to settle for third place, obtaining 43 deputieswhile improving its results and remaining only two tenths below the far right.

The SDP, so far the country’s main party, won three more seats and 2.2% more votes, an insufficient advance but one that gives you the right to be considered a potential partner in the next governing coalition.

“My party has gained support and we have more representatives in Parliament, so as party leader I am very happy,” said Marin, who ran for the first time as leader of her party in parliamentary elections.

Marin predicted some of them difficult negotiations to form a governmentwhile expressing confidence in reaching an agreement that guarantees a coalition with a parliamentary majority.

Petteri Orpo, leader of the conservatives.  Photo Bloomberg

Petteri Orpo, leader of the conservatives. Photo Bloomberg

Marin herself made headway during the che campaign I would have no problem governing with the Conservatives provided that no cuts are made to education, health and social services, even though he considers it almost impossible to reach agreements with real Finns.

The conservative leader, for his part, said he wanted to negotiate with all parties, regardless of their ideology, because his intention is to create “a government with a solid majority”.

“There is a crucial issue and that is the economy. We have to fix our economy, we have to make reforms to guide it towards sustainable growth,” Orpo said.

“Extreme right”

Asked by the foreign press if he would be willing to form a government with the far right, the conservative leader limited himself to saying that “There are no far-right parties in Finland”.

A strange statement given that the Orpo itself, at the time as finance minister, agreed in 2017 with the then prime minister, the centrist Juha Sipilä, to expel the True Finns from the governing coalition due to the turn towards the far right that this formation had taken with the election as president of Jussi Halla-aho, representative of the more radical wing.

Kokoomus’ Conservatives and Riikka Purra’s party share similar views on some issues, mainly economic, but they maintain large differences on issues such as immigration and European and environmental policies.

Sanna Marin’s SDP was, together with the minority Swedish People’s Party, the only one of the five partners in the current governing coalition that did not lose popular support.

During the campaign, the prime minister lifted the election as a pulse of values ​​between left and rightimplying that the only way to avoid victory for the far right was to vote for the SDP.

The tactic of appealing to the useful vote, aimed above all at the undecided, has taken hold among a part of the traditional voters of Los Verdes and Alianza de Izquierdas, who this time voted for the Social Democrats to curb the right.

As a result, the Greens, which includes Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, they lost 7 of their 20 seats and the left formation 5 out of 16, so they will hardly aspire to be taken into consideration for the next government coalition.

However, the big loser of the day was the Center Party, one of the country’s most traditional political forces, which lost 8 of its 31 deputies after collecting 11.3%, the worst result in its history.

Source: Clarin

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